6) Zen / Buddhism / TM cults - simply put is following and preserving the teachings of Buddha. Siddhartha Gautama is the founder of Buddhism. At the core of Buddhism belief is the Four Nobel Truths: a) all life is suffering. b) Suffering stems from desire. c) There can be an end to desire. d) The way is the Eightfold Path is eight rights, right view, right aspirations, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right meditations. The ultimate goal in Buddhism is to attain Nirvana, which may take several rebirths.
11) Baha'i was founded by a descendant of Muhammad, Ali Mohammad of Shiraz, Iran. He declared himself a messenger from God and called himself the Bab (gateway). Baha'i teaches there is one god who is unknowable and wishes to create a peaceful and just society. He called to break free from the Islamic ideology. He was arrested and executed when he was declared a rebel and heretic.
12) Juche is a philosophy that was created by Kim II Sung to promote his ideas in the form of a personality cult around himself and his family. Juche is the belief we are the masters of our own destiny and guided by the Great Leader. Kim merged the aspects of Marxism, Leninism, and Maoist into Juche.
13) Spiritism / Enochian Magic / Trance Medium cults - is the belief that the dead speak to the living threw mediums, auras, telepath, clairvoyance and trance speaking. Spiritualists believe that God is the Supreme Being and creator of all things but also believe in the incarnate spirits. Spiritualists do point out that there is no scientific evidence to validate the spiritual claims of traditional religions.
14) Jainism along with Hinduism and Buddhism are the three most ancient religions in India today. Jainism is simple; they wish to overcome their feelings of hate, greed, and selfishness in order to achieve bliss. They also renounce materialistic needs and practice non-violence.
15) Shinto - followers believe in Kami the spiritual essence that exists in gods, humans, animals, and inanimate objects. They have no founder or sacred scriptures but their guiding beliefs have survived threw he ages. Purification of mind and physicality is at the core of this religion. It's hard even for the followers to put in words about their belief the best way is that Kami is a continuation threw time.
16} Cao Dai was formally established in 1926 in which Ngo Van Chieu became its prophet. Followers spread out over Vietnam, Cambodia, France, and the U.S., but its main home is in Tayninh, near Ho Chi Minh City.This religion draws from many other religions including Jesus, Confucianism, Taoism, and Muhammad.
17) Zoroastrianism looks at humanity as an ongoing struggle between good and evil. Their Holy texts are the surviving texts that were salvaged after Alexander the Great's conquest of Persia, it's called the Avesta. Ahura Mazada is the supreme God of this religion with good and evil represented by his offspring, Spenta Mainyu / good and Angra Mainyu / evil. At death a person is judged by their ethics they lived by in their lifetime.
18) Rastafarianism / Post-Punk Anarchism - says they believe themselves to be reincarnated Israelites. They believe Africa to be their heaven on earth where whites will be compelled to serve them. To them Haile was the divine champion of the black race. Rastafarians are mostly vegetarian and wear their hair in dreadlocks and consume marijuana as sacrament.They take their name from former Ethiopian Haile Selassie I precoronation name, Ras Tafari.
19) Chinese traditional religion - comprises the religion that is practiced in much of China, which includes ancestor worship and Chinese mythology, it is blend a combination of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism in their religious ceremonies. Along with communication with the sun, moon, earth, animals and the heavens there is a strong ancestral bond also within this belief. The Chinese dragon is one of the key religious symbols in these beliefs.
20) Universalism/Unitarianism merged in 1961; both groups share the same Protestant traditional beliefs that very from one group to another. Although they believe in a monotheistic God but denies the divinity of Jesus. They are one of the fastest growing Christian offshoots in the United States.
21) Tenrikyo is a large division of the Japanese Shinto religion (worship of nature spirits and ancestors). It was founded by a peasant girl from the Yamato province who claimed she was possessed by the,"Lord of Divine Wisdom" (Tenri O noMikoto). The doctrine emphasizes charity and healing disease through the mental acts of faith. The goal in Tenrikyo is to be free from suffering.
22) Scientology has about half of a billion followers with growth continuing with the addition of prominent celebrity involvement. Scientology was started by novelist Ron L. Hubbard author of Dianetics. Scientology claims they can free the human spirit from its bondage to materialism and the world by a process called auditing. They also draw on eastern philosophy and modern psychology.
23) Twelve Step Programs are a major part of the modern society worldwide, and while they do not practice what is a religion or claim to be one - they will inevitably be on of the most important influences on the new world of religions persons from all denominations. Being such, they have to be included, for they do have many earmarks of a spiritual movement, and teach guiding and moral growth to millions of individuals daily - are self supporting, and already have many self sustaining factions helping better people of all races and beliefs. A.A.,Alanon, ACA, O.A., N.A. are just a few of twelve step program groups.
24) Technopaganism-shamanism / Psychadelic-Utopianism - This is a relatively new kind of twist on the outlooks of what are traditionally called paganism. In essence the key idea is that modern technology, devices, computers and artifacts of the post-industrial world can be used as sacred or magical tools, just as the challis or athame have been in classical and neopaganism. Also technopaganism sees modern musical styles, synthesized writing, digital arts, and even computer code as sacred music, text, and basis for what older religions would have used hymns and scripture to supplicate. This is a wide subject and would be unfair to discuss without further discourse.
25) Discordanism / Nihilism / Temple Of Psychic Youth / O.T.O. - This is the incorporation of the existential idea that morality does not truly exist, and that any such ideas in a dogmatic system are artificially contrived. So is the discordianistic idealism, that chaos, discord, and dissension are more desirable qualities in a true human being, than are harmony, faith, and order as proposed by religions in former centuries. Also the scientific and skeptical model of reality is upheld. Therefore true knowledge is not possible, and that despite what we wish to believe, reality does not inherently exist as such. Nihilism is a vein of many subcultural beliefs. Most profoundly in the ideas of anarchism, ecological movements, and modern Satanism.
26) Post-Millennialism /Apocalyptic & Doomsday cults - These may come in many forms, there have already been such groups formed around Y2K and ones are currently forming in Jihad groups, Christian Apocalyptics, and currently around the 2012 Mayan calendar. They are not all dangerous or bad, but they are something to watch on the horizon. You might also include the Process Church of the Final Judgment in this Group.
26) Starseed / Plaeidian / Alien & UFO cults - UFO cults are not large in numbers, but there are many around the world. They are formalized and corporatist in the structure for the most part, but we all have to remember the Heaven's Gate group during the Hale Bopp Comet. During the 2012 Mayan calendar year, these groups - or at least some of their more influential movements and leaders are likely to gain a great deal of influence.
27) Aryanism / Neo-Nazi Zionism / Secular Christian cults - These are nothing new in America, they are offshoots of the Hells Angels, Aryan Nations, ZOG, and usually have a Pro-Christian Identity and Anti-Semitic overtones. Many are small and fringe. and mostly exist in America. Although Aum Shinrikyo in Japan was an example of an international organization that has this same earmark and belief system.
28) Environmentalism / Eco-Apocalyptic cults - Groups like ELF in America have been showing their heads off and on for a decade, The Unabomber was a single person, and is representative of this element in the sense that these groups are usually small and unorganized. Although some would argue that larger group festivals like Burning man in America are the early stage of a larger movement, this is not a judgment just a point of view.
29) Satanism / Luciferianism / Vampire cults - Modern Satanism is more related to Discordian philosophy, or considers itself a pseudo offshoot of Christianity. These groups are mainly influence by a more corporate fashion and music affiliation. But there are small groups that take their beliefs very seriously.
30) Cyberneticism / Artificial Intelligence / Bio-Synthetic cults - These are a coming trend,that I predict you will see more of as the 21st century continues. They are akin to atheism, technopaganism, but have many fringe elements, and will become larger than Scientology within the next two decades is my prediction. Or opinion, take it for what it is.
This is not an article passing judgment on any of the groups discussed, it is hoping to spread knowledge and tolerance. These are the 30 groups that are in line to be the 30 major influences on Religion and Spirituality for the 21st Century. Hopefully the information has been helpful and educational.
"I like nonsense,it wakes up the brain cells.
Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living,
its a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.
Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities."
-T.Geisel / aka Dr.Suess